Wisdom for Widows Nuggets 5



Overcoming

As we continue the nuggets I gleaned from a recent Bible Study I’ve previously mentioned, we now are at the O from our acronym Wisdom. We have covered highlights from Widows, Isolation, Suffering, Decision Making and now Overcoming.

There are many definitions for grief. A  few are: sorrow, loss, abandoned, mourning, brokenness, helplessness, loneliness, and emptiness. Grief is a process. It’s learning to manage and accept the loss of someone who  was very close to you. During grief’s process, a widow or widower grows and learns to live with his or her loss. God is good, and we need to learn to lean on Him.

All grief begins with a crisis. Continue reading

Passing Through the Storm


June 4th marked the third anniversary of my husband’s home going. As that day approached, I realized I had reached a milestone in my journey of grief. As I look back at the previous years, all I can picture is a violent storm, as though I have fought my way to the calm at the end of that storm. I visualize my emotions thrashing to and fro with the winds and waves, sometimes crashing violently. But then I can see my Lord in the midst of the chaos, picking me up and holding me close each time I fell. He would then gently send me on my way, always waiting for me when I would reach out to Him.

Isaiah 43:2 reads, “When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee….” I’ m thankful that His Word is true, and I can testify that He didn’t let the river overflow me. There’ve been times when I felt the storm might have indeed, overtaken me, times that I thought I might never stop crying again.

I carried a sadness within my soul that I truly was not sure would ever leave. Still, even with that sadness, I had the joy that only comes from the Lord. I’m sure that’s what sustained me.

I’m not fooled into thinking that I’ll never feel sad again. I know sometimes I’ll still shed a few tears, but I see my pathway so much clearer now. I can see my life as Kathy, instead of as Kathy and Phil as I was for 32 years. Just as God had a plan and purpose for me as a wife, mother, and grandmother, I know He also has a plan for me as a widow, mother, and grandmother.

I’ll always love my husband dearly and miss him every day just as I do my son. However, I also know that I’ll keep on walking to the calmer shore, as God makes “the crooked places straight…” Isaiah 45:3.

I pray that each of you will be able to see the shore- line Him to guide you there. God bless you.

Does Time Really Heal All Wounds?


According to Jim Berg, a pastor and author whom I heard preach, time does not heal all wounds.

Have you ever had a deep cut or wound that took forever to heal and when it did, the scar remained sensitive? I have a scar like that. It has been healed for 20 years or more yet; if I bump that area; yet, it still hurts.

When we lose a loved one, it leaves a deep wound. Years later there will still be some things that can bring the hurt back to the surface. That hurt is a reminder that things are not as they used to be.  Healing is when we are restored to normal function.

A deep cut or wound requires a lot of care. Sometimes either it requires stitches, salve, and maybe even a dressing.

It’s the same with our soul. We need a lot of care for our souls for a very long time. We nurture it by reading God’s Word, by prayer, and by reaching out to others. Wounded people can help others to heal. If we look around us, we can see many hurting people. This, in turn, works as a balm to our own souls. I know as I reach out to others, it helps me to feel useful and it helped me to realize that I’m not alone with my grief.

I’d like want to share with you the following that is also from Jim Berg:

The greatest loss in the entire universe was God’s loss of the fame, allegiance, worship, and obedience. He deserved when we in Adam joined Satan in defacing His image in us. We can’t adequately overcome the effects of our own personal losses unless we see them as a part of this bigger picture. We must allow ourselves to see Satan’s intent behind our losses, and we must turn to Christ for comfort, for instruction, and for the enabling to once again reflect God. Yes, even in the midst of our losses.

As I listened to this pastor speak, I realized what he was saying was true. We can’t fully move on in our grief until we realize this world is not the way God intended it to be. It is because we now live in a fallen world that we must suffer these losses and afflictions.

No, it’s not true that time heals all wounds, but with service to God, depending on Him, and reaching out to others, we can move on and continue to be a contented Christian… even in our grief.

May God richly bless you as you trust in Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meeting


I have been following a blog of which the author calls herself  “God’s Sparrow.”  The title of her blog is Sparrow’s Scrolls. Today with her permission I am sharing with one of my favorite  writings of hers.  Her blog has blessed me greatly and I am sure it will you also.

As I read “The Meeting,”  it helped me to be aware once again that when we lose a loved one, God does not forget to include us in His plan as well. He lovingly lays a pathway before us and guides us along that pathway.

The Meeting

Date: October 18, 2010

Time: 4:30 am

Where: Heaven

Present: God

Angels

Good Morning. I have called you all together at this early hour to tell you that my Sparrow’s beloved has just suffered a stroke.  This has come as no surprise to me. It has, however, shaken her immensely.  It is not in My plan to heal him, for his time to come home to me is drawing near.

The upcoming months will be most difficult for her and she will find her faith tested almost beyond measure. I, however, know she will remain faithful throughout the days ahead.

I set a plan in place several months ago to have her assigned to a position in the school directly across the street from the hospital. She will find herself working for a group of teachers who will be incredibly supportive, tolerating her ringing cell phone, last minute absences and her sometimes “foggy” days.

And, when it is time for him to leave the hospital after six weeks, I have arranged for there to be a room available at the best care center in the area. There, too, she will find a supportive and caring staff.

Although she will be greatly upset that he will need to be in a care center, it is My plan for him. There are many who will benefit from his presence there and his strong faith in Me. He will tell many about Me. In addition, I wish to have this time apart with him in order to prepare him to come home to Me.

Now for your assignments: Her safety while in her vehicle is crucial. There will be many late night and early morning trips. She will also be driving while in tears and in harsh winter weather to visit him each day. Her health is also very important. Stress will be her greatest enemy during this time.

Help will be needed to navigate through the mounds of government and insurance paperwork. Make the way easy for her when she shops for special clothing and shoes for him. I don’t want her going endlessly from store to store. Protect her house from winter’s storms and keep everything in proper working order. When a repair is necessary get it done quickly at minimal expense. There is a younger couple I have positioned in the house up the street who will be a great support to her, Keep an eye on them as well and let them know when it is time to check on her.  As the months go on and she is becoming increasingly weary I will lead her to online friends. At various times these friends will need a “nudge” to send her a message with a butterfly. These beautiful creatures of Mine have always been her favorite and I want her to receive many of them. I will also arrange for the butterflies to appear in her life in many different forms – on shirts of strangers and flying across the hood of her car one particularly hard day.

Shortly after the second anniversary of her beloved’s passing she will hit a very low point. She will find herself in a very dark place not understanding how she got there or why, This too is in My plan.  At the urging of her physician and with My permission she will start medication to alleviate this darkness. In time she will come to see the light again and I will return her “words” to her.

That day will be October 18, 2013. On that day, three years into the future, she will sit at her keyboard and once again feel the joy and honor of sharing My words.

She will still not know what her future holds. But I know – and it is only good, as I have promised. For, as she relays how I have worked in her past, she will be reassured of how I will work in her future.

Ok, meeting dismissed. Now you know your assignments – get to work My angel armies!

And this, my friends is what this verse means to me now: Psalm 91:11 For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

Merry Christmas!


christmas pic for 2013

“To God be the Glory for the Things He hath Done!”

 

I pray God will richly bless your lives as you remain faithful to Him!

 

Always remember to trust Him with all your heart. He loves us more than we could ever realize.

 

Merry Christmas! 

God bless you,

 Kathy Bellows

 

God’s Umbrella of Love and Protection


As I hear the thumping of my grandchildren’s feet running down the hill and across my back yard or I hear the back yard gate slam shut, I am reminded of God’s love and protection for me.

Often circumstances that look bleak or unfortunate to us are really God working out His gracious plan for us. When circumstances forced my daughter, son-in-law, and children to move from Arizona to Pennsylvania, all we could see was the rough- knotted side of the tapestry. We had no idea that on the other side of the tapestry, the side that God sees, a beautiful pattern was being formed.

After we heard the words, “He will have months,” referring to my husband’s prognosis, it was comforting to hear the pounding of hammers and other construction noises coming from a new home being built in field behind our house. While God was transitioning my husband closer to heaven, he was also planting my daughter’s family right next door.  Someone would always be close by to look out for me.

Many times I feel like God has put an umbrella of love and protection over me when I sit in my living room and know that in a matter of minutes family members someone would be at my door if I needed them. Friends often say, “Isn’t it amazing how we can look back and see how God had all of that planned?”

Yes, thank you, God, for always looking after me.

Luscious Sweet Strawberries


As my husband was becoming less able to do the things he loved to do, he planted some strawberries. He reaped a few that first summer that he planted them . The following summer he passed away. If there were any berries, I have no recollection of them. The berries were not cared for properly, but last summer I did find a few. Often since the start of this present summer I would think, I must weed those strawberries Phil planted. They are special to me and I want to keep them going. But I never got around to caring for them.

Last week my grandson came down to cut weeds in a patch of lawn that once was a small garden. I hurried and pulled the largest weeds so he could see where the strawberry plants had been, hoping to save some.  Imagine my surprise as I pulled out the weeds, some which were two feet high, to see large, plump berries! Mmm, are they sweet! Words can’t describe how I felt about finding those hidden strawberries.  It actually felt as if I had been given a gift from my husband. I must have picked a least a quart that day. I have had just a few to pick since then. When I saw that the entire area was full of large thick weeds, I had assumed that I had lost my chance of keeping those plants. How glad I am that I looked carefully before just cutting everything down.

How many times do people miss out on God’s salvation and His blessings because they aren’t willing to reach out and trust Him.  God’s word says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed be the man that trusteth. .” Psalm 119:103 goes on to say, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea,  sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Just as I had to reach out and partake of those strawberries to experience their sweetness, we also have to reach out and read God’s word and trust Him before we can experience the sweetness of Him and His promises.

New hope


As spring approaches each year, it always makes me think of new life and hope. As a person works his way through grief, it sometimes feels likes they will never rise above it.

Much of God’s beautiful creation does not show its’  “face” until springtime arrives. As we experience a long, cold winter we see only barren ground and bare trees. Then one day we notice little buds on the trees and tiny shoots coming up towards the light.  The sun shines a little brighter and a little longer. Seeing new life bursting forth, we realize that they things in nature aren’t dead, and they’re not something to toss aside. Instead, they are displaying God’s perfect order of His creation. In the spring they come forth fresh and invigorated again. They have completed one of God’s intended cycles of life. All of these signs I see in spring renew my hope, and I know that I also can come forth with an invigorated spirit.

Another reminder of this hope that comes with springtime is the hope that Easter brings us. Our hope isn’t in whether the sun shines, or flowers bloom. Our hope is in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Him that we have hope. Because He was crucified on the cross for our sins and rose again the third day we can have hope! We know that He sits at the right hand of God the Father. We know that all of His promises will be fulfilled and are being fulfilled every day.  “Because He lives that I can face tomorrow!”

This will be my second spring without my beloved Phil. However, when I think of him, I not only have hope, but I have full assurance that he too lives. He lives in a place that is beyond our human words of description. He’s been rewarded fullness of all joy! How do I know that?

I know that because God promises that if we trust in Him, and believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God, if we believe that He truly did take our sins to the cross, and rose again the third day, we will live  eternally with Him. My husband did confess with His mouth that Christ is Lord and believed in Him.

I also know that not only does God love my husband, but he also loves me. God has a plan for me also. At this time of the year I am reminded that as long as I continue to love and follow my Savior and Lord, I can always rise above my loss. He promises in Isaiah 43:2 that He will never let the waters overtake you.  I can rise above my loss if I trust Him and allow Him to take my hand and lead me.

Not only does God have an intricate plan for the nature He created for us, but He also has a plan for each one of His children. When God fulfilled His plan for our loved ones and allowed them to go to His glorious home, He did not forget us. He has a plan for each one of us who remain. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He put a new song in my mouth…” Psalm 40: 1-3. I feel excitement with this new season coming upon us, and can rest in peace as I walk each day in His plan for me!

My prayer for each of you who are grieving is that you will be able to feel hope in the midst of your sorrow. God has not forgotten you.

For those of you who do not have Christ as your Savior, and therefore, can have no peace, my prayer is that you will look to the cross and receive Him this Easter season. It was during the Easter season many years ago that I received my faith. You can have the hope that only Christ can give.  I pray that you will seek Him now.

*Feel free to email me if I can be of help to you. Christ said, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37*

Celestial Shore


Think of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven!

Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God’s,Reminds us of heaven

Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial air,

Of feeling invigorated, and finding it immortality,

Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm,

Of waking up, and finding it Home!

Anonymous

The words above were sung at my son’s funeral. They were such a comfort to me. Just imagine it! You reach out to a hand and realize it is the Lord’s! You go from this life that is full of trouble to absolute continuous peace and calm. Home forever! I Peter 1:17 says that we are just traveling through this world. Our stay here in this world is temporary. We are just passing through while we await our turn to go to our real home, the celestial shore.  What comfort and joy this can give us! Our loved ones just travel on a little sooner than us. One day if we have Christ as our Lord and Savior we will travel on also and rejoin them. There will be no more separation, pain or sorrow. No loneliness.

My son’s death was sudden. One minute he was driving and the next he was breathing celestial air. One minute he was clutching the steering wheel, and in the next instant he was holding God’s hand. There is no way to describe  the joy he had to feel.

As my husband was dying, he opened his eyes three times to look up and over at someone waiting for him on “the other side.” Just a few minutes after he shut his eyes the last time, he was gone from his earthly body and opened them the final time to see the face  of  Jesus. He too, stepped onto the celestial shore, and I believe he was embraced by our son whom he missed so much.

As we await our reunion with our beloved husbands, it is a comfort to us if we picture them as they stepped on that heavenly shore. We can look with anticipation for our own  time of “passing from the storm and tempest to an unbroken calm.”  Until that time we need to continue to follow Jesus one step at a time.  He will lead us on the right pathway if we allow Him.  May God bless you.

Kathy

Why, God?


The following is an excerpt from my book “God Never Fails.” This section is talking about the time God taught me not to ask why.

“Kiersten has acute leukemia.”

My sister’s devastating words were on the other end of that phone call.  Kiersten was my beloved niece who was just four years old. During the year that followed, my sister and family lived in the vicious cycle of that big “C” world.

Since my husband and I lived 98 miles from my family, we watched and suffered with them from a distance as their daughter fought for her life. We watched as she lost her hair and grew new, dark, curly hair in its place. We watched, from afar, as that sweet  angelic child went through painful treatments far from home. I watched while she and her mother lived in hospitals and Ronald McDonald houses for weeks at a time, leaving the other three children with our parents. Kiersten’s father divided his time between work, home chores, and staying with his daughter at the hospital.

We heard how little “Ki-Ki” braved the storm that lay before her. One time she stood up front in her church and sang “Jesus Loves Me” all by herself before leaving for her bone marrow transplant. Did she know it would be her last time in her beloved church?  A few weeks later, we listened to my sister telling us that the child was suffering inhumanly while her body fought against itself, rejecting the transplant. Yet, we were in awe to also hear how she and her parents continued to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and other favorite songs in the midst of that suffering.

Late one night, we received a call from my sister asking us to “pray for God to take Kiersten home.” The next morning she was in her Savior’s arms.

It was at that time that I cried out to God, “Why? Why? Why did you have to take her? Why didn’t you heal her?” As I sit at my desk now, I can visualize the exact place I was when I heard my Lord whisper in my heart, “You would not understand if I were to tell you.”

Instantly, the Bible verse Proverbs 3: 5: “Lean not unto thine own understanding …” became very clear to me. “Your mind is too finite,” he whispered in my heart. I fully understood then, as I do now, that our finite, small minds, much more like an ant’s brain compared to God’s, simply can’t understand the events our God has planned. We must only trust because we never could understand even if he were to tell us the “why” of every situation.

It is very natural for us to wonder why things happen to us or our loved ones. There is nothing wrong in asking this. However, we need to be careful to trust our Lord that although in most circumstances God’s ways just do not make sense to us, He makes no mistakes. The verse above reads, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  Isaiah 55:8 & 9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God loves us more than we could ever imagine. He can only do good.

When my husband went home to be with His Lord, I never asked God why. I had settled that issue so many years ago with the death of little “Ki-Ki,” and I never felt the need to ask that question again. We all need to find peace in our hearts that we can trust the Lord. Then we can hold His hand with the trust and faith of a child. It is then that God can lead us on the uncertain and new paths that lie before us.

I pray that you do all have this trust. Please feel free to contact me if you so desire. I would welcome the opportunity to be able to talk with you. You can contact me through the comments section below or via email, kbellows60@yahoo.com

Kathy